President Obama expressed outrage Monday over the Internal Revenue Service's admission that it targeted certain conservative groups for extra scrutiny. By the time the president weighed in, members of both parties in Congress had already begun preparing hearings to grill IRS officials on the issue.
The controversy is rooted in a question neither the IRS nor Congress has answered clearly: Exactly what kind of political activity is allowed for tax-exempt groups — particularly those with secret donors?
In Philadelphia, a jury has found a doctor guilty of murder at a clinic where he performed abortions. Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of killing three babies, and acquitted in the death of a fourth. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, in the death of a patient. NPR's Jeff Brady was in the courtroom today and joins us now. And Jeff, Gosnell faced hundreds of counts in this trial. Help us understand this conviction.
It's been three weeks since a factory collapsed in Bangladesh's garment sector, killing more than 1,000 people. Today, several major retailers that buy clothing made in the country signed onto an ambitious safety plan meant to prevent future tragedies. The agreement is being applauded by worker advocates around the world.
To tell us what's in it, we're joined by NPR's Jim Zarroli. And Jim, give us the details. What does the agreement say, and what does it actually commit retailers to do?
Finally, this hour, we remember the man behind a famous bicycle design. Now, if you spent your childhood riding a bike with big handlebars and a banana seat, then you owe Al Fritz your thanks. The former executive for the bike company Schwinn died last week. In 1963, Fritz introduced the model known as the Sting-Ray, and it got a boost with ads on the TV show "Captain Kangaroo."
(SOUNDBITE OF TV COMMERCIAL)
UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Captain will be back after these messages.
As we just heard, it's been a rocky few weeks for the Obama administration. And joining us now for some analysis of the politics of the moment is NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Hey there, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.
CORNISH: So what's going on here? Is the White House, you know, in the grip of that second term curse?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The Obama administration is playing defense on multiple fronts. One topic, the IRS; officials there have admitted they targeted conservative groups that were applying for tax-exempt status. The other issue is Benghazi. Republicans are once again hammering the White House for editing talking points about last September's deadly attack in Libya.
Zhang Ming lost her 5-year-old daughter, her parents and her home in the powerful earthquake that hit Sichuan provincefive years ago. She now operates a stall selling soft drinks, homemade tofu, popsicles and souvenirs. She and her husband had another child, a daughter who is now 4.
Parents often dread talking to tweens and teens about alcohol. So the government is here to help. Really.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration launched a campaign today that aims to get parents talking with their children about alcohol as early as age 9.
Age 9? Eek!
That early start is important because children start to look at alcohol more positively between ages 9 and 13, researchers say. About 10 percent of 12-year-olds have tried alcohol. That number goes up to 50 percent by age 15.
A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the NHL by the family of hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard, who was 28 when he died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and oxycodone in May of 2011. The suit accuses the NHL of being negligent and with supplying the painkiller to Boogaard.